Elections
Romney and Obama shake hands. Photo by Michael Reynolds, AP Romney and Obama shake hands. Photo by Michael Reynolds, AP  

Post-debate quick polls show near-draw for Romney, Obama

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

Gov. Mitt Romney fought President Barack Obama to a draw in Monday night’s foreign policy debate, successfully denying the president a decisive win, according to a quick poll by CNN.

The news network’s poll of debate-watching voters split evenly on character assessments, even though 48 percent of respondents said Obama won the standoff.

Although only 40 percent of of viewers said Romney won the debate, 60 percent said he was ready to handle the responsibility of being the nation’s commander-in-chief.

That’s almost the same as Obama’s score of 63 percent, despite Obama’s nearly four years of experience in the job.

Obama fared better in a CBS News poll of 500 supposedly uncommitted voters.

Fifty-three percent of CBS’s respondents “gave the foreign policy-themed debate to Mr. Obama; 23 percent said Romney won,” according to CBS.

But that top-line number somewhat obscured the assessment of both candidates by the CBS respondents.

“Before the debate, 46 percent said they would trust Romney, and 58 percent said they would trust the president” on foreign policy, reported CBS. “Those numbers spiked to 49 percent and 71 percent, respectively.”

The CBS respondents were also “evenly split, 50-50, on which candidate would better handle China,” CBS reported.

CNN’s respondents gave Romney a 47 percent score as a strong leader, while Obama scored slightly higher at 51 percent, despite his approval of the successful mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

Romney scored 47 percent on likability, only one point below Obama’s score of 48 percent, among the CNN respondents.

Twenty-four percent of those respondents said the debate made them more likely to vote for Obama, while 25 percent said they’re more likely to vote for Romney.

But for voters, foreign policy is apparently less important than the economy in the 2012 election.

Fifty percent of CNN’s respondents said the debate made no difference in how they plan to vote on Nov. 6.

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